Pope Francis has endeared many of us, and confused the rest of us. I fall into both camps! I love how personable he is, however I understand that I don’t understand a lot of things about him. To me, that’s okay. I wasn’t meant to understand completely every person, and I’m sure many of his writings will make more sense to me as I pray about it, and as time passes.
He talks about so many things when he addressed Congress on September 24th. I would love to share one of them with you now.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”
The Golden Rule. I’ve know I’ve talked about it, and I know we all know about it, but it just struck me that we all just know about it. Pope Francis breaks it down even further for us, in terms that we can understand as a nation:
– If we want security, give security
– want life, give life
– for opportunities, offer opportunities.
Pretty basic and simple stuff right? Then how come we fail miserably at it sometimes? So many of us wish and long for our loved ones to feel secure in their jobs, to know that they have a future in a livelihood and it’s steady. But these days, we know full well that we’re not living in the past.
Security of employment is out the door. Employees have no loyalty their employers, and employers have no loyalty their employees. Both are looking out for the next best thing to come a long.
From a privileged perspective one may think, “Well, if they don’t like the conditions, they can leave.” From an unprivileged perspective the other may think, “I’m not valued at my job, I should go where I’m valued.”
The same thing goes for life. We want “life, liberty, and persist of happiness,” but in the meantime we are snuffing out the very life that never had a chance.
The last line that drove it home to me was this:
The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.
Yup, a wonderful reminder indeed!
I’ll give you an example, do you know of Kim Davis? (Of course you do!)
Well how many out there dismissed her because of her earlier lifestyle and her remarriage? How many of us judge her a hypocrite because of the way she used to live before she found the Gospels? How many of us out there called her names just because she stood up for what she believed in?
Now, how many of us are willing to do the same thing? Even at the threat of jail or death?
We are so good at being backseat drivers, or quarterbacks, but in the past few weeks, I had to step back and look at her resolve during attacks, poked fun of, and even laughed at. I have to ask myself: “Am I as strong enough to endure this type of trial?” This is a question all have to ask ourselves.
Pope Francis’ speech leaves us with many things to think about. Things that we have to work on as a nation that is wealthy but doesn’t do a great job for providing for those who are poor. We profess liberty, but we don’t practice it completely. Finally, we all want a livelihood, but by our actions as a nation we are denying others theirs.
Let us pray and hope that as a nation we can straighten things out.
Did Pope Francis say anything that inspired you, or made you think?